Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - #2943 - Veterans Administration Agrees Not to Interfere With Holiday Prayers - Houston News

The nation's agency for military veterans has agreed to stay out of religious refereeing for now, backing down from its attempt to tell a minister how to craft a prayer for a Memorial Day invocation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Hindrichs told federal District Judge Lynn Hughes that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will not demand that Memorial Day prayers at Houston National Cemetery Monday be as non-denominational as possible.  "(The agency) will let the prayer go on this Monday," Hindrichs told Hughes.  The change of heart came one day after the judge granted the Rev. Scott Rainey a temporary restraining order against the agency after officials told the pastor to edit his prayer to make it as general and non-denominational as possible. Rainey's prayer, submitted for review at the agency's request included the recitation of the Lord's Prayer and thanked Jesus Christ, the Christian savior, in closing.  "The ... prayer/message is specific to one belief," wrote Arleen Ocasio, director of the Houston National Cemetery.  "I've never said a prayer in my life that didn't end with Jesus Christ," Rainey said after Friday's hearing. "It was unrealistic expectation for me not to include the name of Jesus Christ."  Read more.......

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